Yuka Funatsu (WIT18 MWP recipient, living in Seattle)
21 members of God’s family, all involved in many different ministries, gathered together for three days for WIT18. We learned and talked through lessons and activities centered around the theme of “Living Out the Gospel.” During those three days, I learned a lot of things and was able to have a very blessed time.
I came to the US two years ago to Seattle as a foreign exchange student. All of my family members in Japan are Christian and I have attended church since I was little, but my heart was always far from God and I was walking in sin. During that time, about a year after I came abroad, I came face-to-face with many problems and everything that I had been up until that point came completely undone. For the first time, I began to seek God and that became my turning point to come back to Him. Currently, I serve in a ministry in Seattle called JxJ.
By attending WIT, I learned of the grace, size, and joy of the family of God.
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?” (1 Corinthians 6:15 NIV)
This is confirmation that we, as God’s family, are not just regular humans.
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” (Jeremiah 24:7 NIV)
We as God’s family have all been given the heart to accept Him. It’s not that we accept God, we have the joy of already being in His grace from the start.
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2 NIV)
If I had been forsaken by God, I would not have the heart to love and cherish God and people. The fact that we can love and be loved is proof that we are created and loved by God, and I believe that this is a present for us sinners who cannot see Him.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7 NIV)
Since we have been born of God’s love, I have received the grace of being able to pray for God’s protection over me–to walk in His love in this world for His purpose for me. The world makes us think “I can’t do anything,” or “This is meaningless,” because we are subconsciously trying to find our meaning in it. We can’t find it unless we seek it through God.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17)
And within our relationships with people who do not yet know God, we pray to God and let the Holy Spirit work. It’s not just a relationship between me and the other person; He creates a triangular relationship between me, God, and the other person. I learned that we can “Live Out the Gospel” by surrendering this relationship to God. Even if I hurt them or get hurt in that relationship, God will heal me so I do not need to be afraid.
Brothers and sisters with the same purpose gathered together for this year’s WIT, and then returned to their respective places, but we all look up to God and are connected by His love as one body.
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)
Faith is not mine alone. In joy and in weakness, I can rely on God and walk together with brothers and sisters–what overwhelming grace and joy! I am now in joy.